How a Texas Woman Was Arrested for Giving Her Baby to a Stranger
What would you do if someone you didn't know tried to give you a baby?
I can understand a new mother being overwhelmed, but this is not the way to get help.
Our news partner KWTX is reporting that a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas has been arrested after asking a stranger on the street to take her newborn. The baby in question is less than two weeks old.
What Happened to Yessenia Cardenas?
Yessenia Cardenas now faces child abandonment charges after handing over her infant to Claudia Canales.
Canales said she was driving down Comanche Street in Corpus Christi when she saw a woman 'walking with a baby hanging off her arm', according to KRIS-TV. When Canales asked her if she needed help, Cardenas said yes, and gave her the baby, telling Canales she had just smoked marijuana, was unable to remember the last time the child ate, and didn't have a bottle or any formula with her.
After taking the child, Canales called the police.
Is Giving Away Your Baby Illegal?
If you have a newborn that you are unable to care for, you can bring your baby to a designated safe place with no questions asked; however, there are some restrictions involved.
The Safe Haven law, also known as the Baby Moses law, gives parents who are unable to care for their child a safe and legal choice to leave their infant with an employee at a designated safe place. A safe place is considered a hospital, fire station, free-standing emergency center, or emergency medical services (EMS) station.
That means you can't just give your baby to someone you don't know and walk away - it's considered child abandonment, which is illegal and also a state jail felony in Texas.
Where is Yessenia Cardenas' Baby?
The baby received medical care, according to Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Currently, the infant is with Child Protective Services until a foster family can be arranged.